“On the afternoon of Wednesday, May 31st, a naval engagement took place off the coast of Jutland…”
Today’s Daily Telegraph has the news of a major battle at sea and reports the loss of HMS Invincible. This is most distressing and we fear for our old friend Lieut. Charles Fisher. The report states the ship was sunk and we can but wait and hope that Charles might be amongst the survivors – if there are any.
When war broke out, Charles was over age, and moreover found that his varicose veins disallowed him from active service, according to the medical regulations in force. Inaction, however, was impossible for him, and offering himself for the work which would most quickly bring him to the front, he crossed the Channel in the autumn of 1914 as an orderly in a British Red Cross Motor Convoy.
In 1915 he became Adjutant and was mentioned in despatches. Thereafter he transferred to the RNVR with a lieutenancy. Charles turned his mind from the classics to range-finding, commenting that a ship was a ‘floating laboratory with a foreign language of its own, as difficult as Greek.’ He has become an expert range and rate-finder, and we presume he was directing the fire of HMS Invincible in this battle.
Forty or so Old Dragons are serving in the Royal Navy and it is quite possible a number of them were also involved. I am sure many have been champing at the bit to have their chance to engage the enemy and maybe the stories they have to tell will be of a rather more positive nature than the view given in the newspaper.
We hope that over the next few days we will have news of their safe return to port.